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Celebrating our Woodland Heritage comes to a close

South Pennine residents invited to celebrate community heritage project

South Pennine residents invited to celebrate community heritage project

The project, funded by the Newground Together (part of Together Housing Group), National Lottery Heritage Fund, Yorkshire Water and the Green Bank Trust, has come to a close after over three years of community archaeological investigations, forest schools, festivals, workshops and a conference across the South Pennines.

As part of the project, which was supported by the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences at University of Bradford, 38 woodlands across the South Pennines have been investigated. These have included Towneley Woods in Burnley, Healey Dell Woods in Rochdale, Hardcastle Crags in Hebden Bridge and North Dean Woods in Elland.

The results will not only be used to update the regional Historic Environment Records but also to inform landowners of heritage assets held by them, the significance of these assets and how best to manage them. Reporting is ongoing but over 1,000 features of archaeological significance have been recorded to date.

Christopher Atkinson, Heritage and Landscape Development Manager at Pennine Propsects, said: “Not only are these surveys benefitting the historic record, they are significantly beneficial to the local community, offering individuals and families new insight into the history of the area and raising awareness of the importance of ‘their woodland’ in relation to the wider South Pennines.”

In partnership with NatureEd, Get Out More, LiveWild, Tinderwood Trust and KidzArcaeology, and its own education team Newground Together has supported 289 forest school workshops across the South Pennines, working with 3,000 schoolchildren.

In addition to funding a Woodland Heritage Officer, Newground Together has helped facilitate eight forest school training events, resulting in over 80 adults achieving a qualification to Level 1 Forest School Practitioner.

Peter Jordan, Director of Newground Together added: “The woodlands of the South Pennines have a fascinating story to tell and can inspire, educate and entertain.

“Connecting communities with the natural environment can build a sense of appreciation of how it can impact on our lives including climate change, loss of biodiversity and flooding.

“Spending time in the natural environment can also boost health and wellbeing and projects like this can foster a great sense of belonging and community pride.”

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